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How to Avoid getting a Cold, Flu, COVID-like Illness, or Something else.

With the cold, flu, COVID-like illness, and whatever else is thrown at us season upon us, we all need to be healthy enough to avoid getting ill. This doesn't mean getting vaccines. If you're reading this, you're probably like mined and understand why. If you don't know why you shouldn't get any vaccine, then get up to speed with the multitude of Dr. Tenpenny's books, videos, podcasts, and interviews.

Always cover your mouth when sneezing.

Many microorganisms are commonly spread via hand-to-hand contact. For instance, somebody who is ill sneezes, blows, or itches their nose, then shakes your hand or touches an object you also feel. You can't control what someone else does, but you can control what you do. Ensure your health is optimum, wash your hands, and do not touch your face. These are the single most important rules to live by to prevent illness.

Ways to Prevent Getting Sick:

Wash Your hands As mentioned above, this is the number one way to avoid getting sick. Scrub your hands with warm water and soap (many don't use soap) for at least 15 to 20 seconds after using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, eating, working, eating raw food, or playing with pets. Anything less than 15 seconds won't do the job. Approximately 46 percent of Americans in a 2021 poll revealed that they wash their hands before meals. Incredibly, studies show 95 percent of subjects say they wash their hands after using the bathroom, but only 67% were found to do it. Even worse, only 33 percent used soap, and a dismal 16% washed their hands for at least 15 seconds.

BUYER BEWARE: According to researchers at the University of Michigan, antibacterial soaps aren't any better than ordinary soaps for washing away germs (Aiello et al., 2007). They also warn that antibacterial soaps may have the unwanted side effect of promoting antibiotic resistance in users.

Address Stress – Stress can affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and body. Left unchecked, stress can lead to health problems like depression, gastrointestinal disorders, sleep difficulty, diabetes, weight gain, and immune system dysfunction. 75 – 90 percent of illnesses are stress-related (Liu et al., 2017). Stress can not only predispose you to an infection, but it can also make the illness worse (Cohen et al., 1999). Finding ways to manage daily stress and reactions to circumstances beyond your control will contribute to a strong and resilient immune system.

Supplement with Vitamin D3 In the most extensive study of its type, researchers examined 18,883 participants 12 years and older to see the association between serum D3 levels and upper respiratory tract infections. Those participants with the lowest vitamin D3 levels reported more recent colds or cases of the flu. The risk was even more significant for those individuals with chronic respiratory disorders like asthma.

Based on the latest investigations by Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth, the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D3 levels is 8,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day if you are taking an oral supplement. However, the best way to ensure you take the optimum amount of vitamin D3 to get you between 60ng/ml and 100ng/ml is to get your levels tested.

According to 2009-2014 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 93 percent of children under 18 in the United States had vitamin D3 levels below 40 ng/ml, with 16 being below 20 ng/ml. The findings of that study are below on the left of data on children in the GrassrootsHealth cohort, whom greater than 50 percent are still below the recommended 40 ng/ml, although the parents testing their children through the project are educated about vitamin D3 to be measuring levels on their own.

Many experts agree that children need about 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight. However, to ensure optimum dosing, check their levels at least once a year. Levels can be checked in the privacy of your own home without having to get an IV.

Do not Touch Elevator Buttons – Everybody touches elevator buttons, especially the 1st-floor button, and eventually eats their lunch and or picks their teeth or nose without washing their hands. Many germs are found on the 1st-floor button because everybody at some point returns to the first floor. There is an easy fix. Let someone else push the buttons or use your elbow or the back of your knuckle instead of the tip of your finger to press the button.

Wash for 15 - 20 seconds with soap.

Nasty Shopping Carts – Shopping cart handles are prime culprits in the spread of germs. Never put fresh produce in the cart seat, where diaper-aged children often sit. WOW! That is a significant motivator to wash your hands and not touch your face.

Watch Those Escalator Handrails – Everyone holds on to escalator handrails. Do not touch them if you can manage without them.

Use the First Toilet – Research shows that most people use the middle stall in public bathrooms, so avoid those. A quick search on the internet reveals several articles referring to studies claiming that 60 percent of people chose the middle stalls, with 40 percent choosing the end.

On the show MythBusters, they also found that 60 percent of people choose the middle stalls, but the stall at the end nearest the entrance is used the least and was by far the cleanest. Watch the MythBusters 1:14 minute video HERE.

Office Coffee Pots – Your office may have cleaned the coffee pot and mugs with a sponge, which is dirtier than toilet seats. If your office does not use a dishwasher, hang on to your own mug. More good advice: Keep apple cider vinegar in the office and pour a water-cider solution through the coffee machine weekly, which will help kill bacteria.

Kitchen Woes – Be aware of kitchen sponges, dishcloths, sink, and cutting boards. Research suggests that if you want to sterilize your sponge, put it in the microwave, if you have one, for two minutes, and research shows this gets rid of 99% of the bacteria.

Work Desks are Dirtier Than the Public Toilets – Who would have guessed the typical office desk area has 400 times the number of bacteria than the average truck stop toilet seat? Worst offenders: The office phone, the desk, and finally, the keyboard. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean the desktop, computer keyboard, and phone. A much better alternative to using chemicals would be not touching your face and washing your hands appropriately.

Menus, ATMs, TV remotes, and on and on – Germs are on virtually everything, including you. It is impossible to avoid them. They are part of life and you, on your skin and inside your body. Unless you are willing to live in a bubble, you and germs will come in contact. The question is, will you follow the top three rules of being healthy enough to fight them, washing your hands, and not touching your face?

Suggested Supplements:

Opti Vitamin D 5000iu Among all the functions D3 has in our bodies, optimizing immune function is a major one.

Michael Furci is a Family Nurse Practitioner at Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center. To schedule a free consultation or make an appointment call (440)239-3438.


Aiello, A. E., Larson, E. L., & Levy, S. B. (2007). Consumer Antibacterial Soaps: Effective or Just Risky? Clinical Infectious Diseases, 45(2), S137–S147.

Cohen, S., Doyle, W. J., Skoner, D. P. (1999). Psychological Stress, Cytokine Production, and Severity of Upper Respiratory Illness. Psychosomatic Medicine, 61(2), 175-180. Retrieved from,_Cytokine_Production,_and.9.aspx

Liu, Y., et al. (2017). Inflammation: The Common Pathway of Stress-Related Diseases. Front Hum Neurosci, 11, 316. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00316

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